At that time, the availability of legally induced abortions gradually increased in the United States, first in Mississippi in 1966 and then in Colorado the following year. The controversy these developments would generate has led public health officials to obtain accurate and comprehensive information about the number and demographics of women who have had abortions, as well as the impact legalizing abortion would have on morbidity and mortality.3 Three organizations—the Population Council, the Alan Guttmacher Institute, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)—worked together to collect data. by conducting what was called abortion surveillance. Their joint efforts have been instrumental in assessing the public health impact of legalizing abortion. The categorizations on the map reflect a strict interpretation of the law in black letters of each country. Abortion laws are classified according to the provisions of national laws, legal regulations and court decisions. Ministerial directives are not used to categorize the legal status of abortion on the map, unless they have the force of law. Ashurst, DLA Piper, Gomez-Pinzon Abogados, and White & Case provided pro bono assistance in reviewing each country`s laws, with legal interpretations provided by practicing lawyers in each country as they became available. For the purposes of the map, “countries” include independent States with populations exceeding one million, semi-autonomous regions, territories and special status jurisdictions. 18. Bracken MB, Freeman DH, Jr., and Hellenbrand K, Hospitalization for medical-legal and other abortions in the United States 1970-1977, American Journal of Public Health, 1982, 72(1):30-37. In other Latin American countries, abortion laws have remained highly restrictive for more than 30 years, despite campaigns for women`s sexual and reproductive rights and human rights. As a result, and thanks to the advent of new technologies, women have begun to take matters into their own hands.
Countless women, probably millions, have received and used misoprostol to induce abortion itself (widely used for stomach ulcers) from a number of sources – pharmacies, websites, black market – since its abortive efficacy was first discovered in the late 1980s. This practice, which began in Brazil, has spread to many other countries and regions. In response, countries like Brazil and Egypt have imposed legal restrictions and regulations on access to medicated abortion pills to end the unstoppable. The following infographic illustrates changes in countries` abortion laws over the past 25 years using the color section of the global map of abortion laws. The color change reflects the legality of abortion before and after the law reform. Where the law amendment added listed reasons for abortion, these are reflected by labeled symbols. 31. LeBolt SA, Grimes DA and Cates W, Jr., Mortality from abortion and childbirth: are the populations comparable? Journal of the American Medical Association, 1982, 248(2): 188-191.
The 2021 legal decision also made existing services countable and visible. According to official figures, 1327 public health facilities performed 73,487 legal abortions in 2021.8 While these figures may be under-reported in some cases, systematic monitoring of the need for and use of abortion procedures contrasts with the lack of national data in previous years and provides data to help assess progress in access.8 For example: Catamarca, a poor and conservative province in the north, reported 554 legal abortions performed in the first year after the law was passed, up from 233 cases in 2020. In the United Kingdom, the Abortion Act of 1967 clarified and prescribed that abortion was legal for up to 28 weeks (later reduced to 24 weeks). Other countries soon followed, including Canada (1969), the United States (1973 in most states, according to Roe V. Wade – the U.S. Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion nationwide), Tunisia and Denmark (1973), Austria (1974), France and Sweden (1975), New Zealand (1977), Italy (1978), the Netherlands (1984) and Belgium (1990). However, these countries differ considerably in the circumstances under which abortion should be permitted. In 1975, the Federal Court of Justice struck down a law legalizing abortion because it contradicted constitutional human rights guarantees. In 1976, a law was passed allowing abortions up to 12 weeks. After the reunification of Germany, despite the legal status of abortion in the former GDR, a compromise was reached that considered most abortions legal until week 12, but this law was repealed by the Federal Constitutional Court and amended to allow the repeal of the sentence only in such cases without a declaration of legality. In Shari`a jurisdictions, abortion after the 120th day after conception (19 weeks after the LMP) is illegal, especially for those who follow the recommendations of the Hanafi School of Jurisprudence, while most jurists in the Maliki Law School “believe that the soul takes place at the time of conception, and they tend to ban abortion at any time [similar to the Roman Catholic Church].